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Baby formula shortage continues, but a Detroit Facebook group is trying to get babies the formula they need

Powder milk for baby and blue spoon on light background close-up. Milk powder for baby in measuring spoon on can. Powdered milk with spoon for baby. Baby Milk Formula and Baby Bottles. Baby milk formula on kitchen background
Dragana Gordic - stock.adobe.com
Members of the Facebook group post where they’re finding formula and sell, exchange and give away formula to caregivers.

There is still a baby formula shortage causing empty shelves across the country. One mom in Metro Detroit is trying to ease that burden through a Facebook group.

The group is connecting people who want to help with caregivers in need of baby formula.

Heather Chesnutt created Detroit Area Formula Finder — a group that now has over 2,000 members.

Members post where they’re finding formula and sell, exchange and give away formula to caregivers.

Chesnutt said one of the biggest issues she’s seeing is caregivers who use WIC benefits cannot purchase formula online.

"With gas prices over $5 dollars now, it’s just not possible for people to be driving around to six different stores and hoping to find what they can," she said.

There’s been a nationwide shortage since Abbott Nutrition shut down a Michigan factory in February over concerns of bacterial contamination.

The crisis started when several babies were infected by bacteria, and two of them died. The same bacteria was later detected at Abbott's Sturgis, Michigan plant, but Abbott maintained there was no conclusive evidence to link its formulas to the illnesses.

Babies under six months need formula or breast milk. It's their only food source.

The Facebook group has a daily post called "Last Can" where caregivers can post if they're down to their last can, meaning they'll run out of formula in less than 24 hours.

Group members also post sightings of formula and purchase needed brands for caregivers.

Abbott Nutrition has restarted production — but it's not clear when the baby formula shortage will end.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Abbott Nutrition was a Michigan based company. They are headquartered in Illinois.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.